- Richard Poplak
Eritrean cycling finally went global over the course of the 2015 Tour de France, when MTN-Qhubeka’s star climber Daniel Teklehaimanot introduced his obscure, east African country to the world. But Zemede Tekle, Eritrea’s sports commissioner recently told the Daily Maverick: ‘Cycling is life here. It is who we are.’ In 1936, 25 after Italian colonialists imported the sport (and refused to allow the locals to participate), Eritreans held their first race. They’ve been racing ever since. In Eritrea, as an Italian journalist once noted, cycling is bread. Words and photos by RICHARD POPLAK.